Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas and Designs for Your Beach House
Warm summer days belong to the beach – to playing in the sand, soaking up the sun, and splashing in the surf – but breezy summer nights? Well, those belong to chasing sunsets, dining al fresco, and cozying up under the stars with a cocktail … or two. Transform your backyard into the ultimate après-beach gathering place with an outdoor fire pit, where your friends and family can kick back, catch up, and stay warm long after the sun goes down.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with swoon-worthy inspiration photos of beach house fire pits you’ll want to steal for yourself, from a custom courtyard setup in a Los Cabos, Mexico, hideaway to a tree-shaded outdoor room on the water in Beaufort, South Carolina. Plus, we have plenty of ideas on how to craft an outdoor fire pit that suits your style, whether you’re looking for a swanky setup for dinner parties or something that’s a little more laidback and low-key. Finally, we’ve rounded up all of the accessories you’ll need for hosting magical summer soirees in your own backyard, from fire pit cooking grates – hello, oyster roasts! – to pretty outdoor seating that makes room for a crowd.
Fire Pit Ideas
Custom built or straight from the store? Perched on the patio or nestled in the yard? A style that stands out, or a look that blends in? There are lots of elements to consider when planning the outdoor fire pit setup that will work best for your home and your family. No matter what you’re looking for, we’re ready to help, with all the tips and tricks you’ll need to craft a dynamic (and dynamite-looking!) place to put your feet up and enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire on chilly summer nights. Plus, we’re highlighting some of our favorite beach house fire pit designs ever: Each of them is loaded with genius ideas – from clever seating to convenient portability – to consider as you set out to create your dream outdoor entertaining space.
Idea #1: Be smart with your fire pit design, and take advantage of what’s already there.
The courtyard of this Los Cabos, Mexico, beach house (above) is a dreamy spot for a fire pit, as the high walls offer protection from winds coming off the beach and give the owners plenty of privacy. Architect Roberto Contreras designed the square fire pit to blend with the existing stonework, thereby preserving the charming, laid-back character of the courtyard, while also outfitting it for easy entertaining. An L-shaped teak sectional with big, French welt cushions fits snugly into the corner of the courtyard and echoes the lines of the square fire pit for a perch that feels especially cozy and tucked away. “There’s a real around-the-campfire feel when everyone piles on,” says homeowner and designer Charlene Petersen.
The take-aways here? Work with the existing architecture of your home to carve out a fire pit area that feels like a hidden jewel, and choose fire pit materials that will complement its surroundings.
Idea #2: Double down on fire pit seating.
“Just as in a living room indoors, people tend to congregate around the fire,” says Savannah architect Eric Brown, who partnered with Robert Turner, president of Habersham, to design this beautiful outdoor entertaining space in the waterfront community in Beaufort, South Carolina (above). “Building a central fire pit creates a natural gathering spot.” Play up the fire pit’s role as the center of all the action by choosing a design with wide borders that can double as extra seating or serve as a convenient place to put down drinks or plates. The custom fire pit shown here is made from local Savannah brick and has an 18-inch border so that guests have a roomy, comfortable place to plop down with a cocktail even after the chairs have already been snagged!
Idea #3: Swap wood for a natural gas fire pit.
While we’ll always love a wood-burning fire for its comforting crackling sounds, inimitable smoky scent, and summer camp nostalgia factor, a gas-fueled fire pit is a smart alternative for those of us who never nabbed that fire-building badge in Scouts. Not only can you start the fire with the press of a button, a natural gas fire is a breeze to clean up because, well, there’s nothing to clean up!
Worried you’ll miss the throwback feel of a wood-burning beach bonfire? Channel the organic, barefoot vibes of the beach in your fire pit’s surroundings. At this Santa Cruz, California, home (above), a gas-fueled fire pit with steel logs sits on a stone patio bordered by tall grasses and a boardwalk-inspired wooden walkway that reference the beach that’s just a block away.
Idea #4: Move the fire pit to the grass.
Placing fire pits in the grass, rather than on terraces or patios, is a genius way to minimize backyard hardscape and transform unused patches of grass into entertaining hot spots. Set up pretty outdoor furniture around the pit for a look that’s polished and inviting, then bring out the picnic blankets when you have more guests than chairs.
This grass-surround setup is also a great choice for handy DIY-ers looking for a weekend project. Home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot make it super easy to build these kinds of backyard fire pits with kits that include everything from the sand you’ll need to craft the fire pit’s base, to the heavy-duty steel fire pit ring that fits snugly into the circle of concrete pavers.